Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal on Saturday warned former president Pervez Musharraf of dire consequences upon failure to appear before the court.
Addressing the media here, the federal minister said that the interior ministry could cancel Musharraf’s passport and national identity card if he remains absent from court proceedings of an ongoing high treason case against him.
On Friday, Musharraf had requested for foolproof security upon return to Pakistan in relation to his appearance in the ongoing high treason case against him.
“Musharraf is in good health and must appear before the court,” said Iqbal.
Discussing the upcoming elections, the minister said that ‘failed forces’ have kept up their efforts to create hurdles in the democratic process but the fate of democracy lies with the nation of 200 million people.
“The people cannot be fooled anymore,” he said. “Even in 2013, just before the elections, slogans such as ‘first accountability, then elections’ and ‘first state then elections’ were raised but I fail to understand why these slogans surface right before the elections.”
The federal minister further said that so many games had been played in Pakistan that people had lost faith in some forces.
Speaking about the security situation in the country, Iqbal observed that the PML-N led government had curbed terrorism during the course of its rule.
“We curbed terrorism during the tenure of our rule. People are trying to get tickets of Pakistan Super League in Karachi – a city where extortion chits were a norm till some time back,” he told the journalists.
The interior minister also spoke about the government’s resolve to achieve its target to become one of the world’s top 25 economies by 2025.
“We have changed the direction of the country in the past five years and we will achieve our target to become one of the world’s 25 economies by 2025,” said Iqbal.
“No one was willing to invest in the country just five years ago. Today, Pakistan has benefited from billions of dollars of investment due to CPEC, which has contributed heavily to our infrastructural development with projects such as dams, motorways and even universities and AI technology centres being made.”
He also expressed hope that the opposition will be in agreement with the government over the caretaker setup.
“There is also this conspiracy theory floating around, that these elements will try to prevent consensus on the caretaker prime minister so that a third force ends up bringing in a prime minister of their own. We will not let this happen,” he said with determination.
He invited the leader of the opposition to work with the prime minister to reach an agreement regarding the caretaker setup in a fair and transparent manner.
Addressing the inauguration ceremony of mobile registration service in the country here on Saturday, Ahsan Iqbal said that Pakistan has become a strong economy due to efforts of the Pakistan Muslim League-N government.
He said that initially the equipment fitted in 122 cars would prepare computerised national identity cards.
The minister said that democratic forces were strong in the country and masses were the custodians of democracy. He said that the PML-N government would develop the country to the level that it could be included in the top 25 economies of the world. He said that people were not ready to accept propaganda of non-democratic forces.
He urged the opposition to join hands with the government for installing a caretaker setup for holding general elections; otherwise, the third force would form the caretaker government.
“The world must be told that there were no differences on democracy among the political forces, “ he added. The minister hoped that all political forces would agree on an impartial caretaker setup.
He said that defeated forces had won the Senate elections while victorious ones were defeated, however, every setback strengthened the democratic process. He said that the attitude of institutions with former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was increasing his popularity. In 2016, the Supreme Court had given a judgement that all cases related to the Exit Control List would be sent to the cabinet, but not a single case was referred to the cabinet during the previous period.
Ahsan said that decision on putting the names of Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz on the ECL would be made under the law. He said that Musharraf was not a general now, he was head of a political party so he should face the courts. He said when a politician could appear before the courts while his wife is seriously ill, then why a healthy politician could not come to the court.